Economic and Political Weekly 30-06-2019

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World

Politics

· Ethiopian army kills general accused of organizing failed coup

The general accused of organizing a failed coup in Ethiopia last weekend was killed by security forces on 24th June, the government announced, as the prime minister urged citizens to unite against “evil”. Asamnew Tsige, who was believed to have been recruiting his own militias over the past few weeks, was shot near the northern city of Bahir Dar, according to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s press secretary, Negussu Tilahun. This followed the murders of five top Ethiopian political and military figures. Army chief of staff Seare Mekonnen was shot dead by his own bodyguard at home in the capital Addis Ababa on 22nd June, along with a retired general.In southwest state Amhara’s capital Bahir Dar, state president Ambachew Mekonnen, his adviser and Amhara’s attorney general were also killed. The Ethiopian government called the attacks an “orchestrated coup attempt” and declared Monday a national “day of mourning”. Asamnew was released from prison in 2018, after serving time for orchestrating a similar coup attempt.

·   Man who pushed 91-year-old on to London train tracks jailed for life

A man with paranoid schizophrenia who pushed a former Eurotunnel chairman on to London Underground tracks has been jailed for life. Paul Crossley (47) shoved 91-year-old Sir Robert Malpas on to the rails at Marble Arch station on April 27th last year. The defendant, who also attacked another Tube traveler, Tobias French, earlier that day, was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder. He was sentenced at the Old Bailey to a minimum of 12 years in custody before he can be released on parole. He will initially serve his sentence in hospital until he is deemed suitable for prison. Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said the attacks were carried out in “terrifying circumstances” and told Crossley he poses a “grave and enduring risk to the public”. “You pushed Mr French first of all knowing very clearly that was wrong, and then you tried to make yourself harder to identify with your hood,” he said.

·Deaths pile up in Libyan detention centre, leaked UN report shows

More than 80 per cent of refugees and migrants locked up in one Libyan detention centre may have tuberculosis due to overcrowding and poor conditions, while at least 22 have died, according to an internal United Nations report. The report, said staff from the International Medical Corps, a US-based organization which had been charged with providing medical care in Zintan detention centre, told UN officials they were only recently referring tuberculosis patients to hospital.

·  Boris Johnson promises ‘do-or-die’ Brexit by October 31st.

Boris Johnson has toughened his commitment to taking Britain out of the European Union on October 31st, promising a “do-or-die” Brexit and challenging Conservative leadership rival Jeremy Hunt to do the same. The promise came as Mr. Johnson sought to regain the political initiative after four days of headlines about a row with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds that saw police called to their flat early last 21st June morning.

· Baby found alive in plastic bag in woods in US.

Footage showing the rescue of a newborn baby found alive inside a plastic bag in woods in the US has been released. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia made the video public in the hope that it will generate credible tips in the case.

·Hong Kong activists appeal to world leaders ahead of G20.

Activists opposed to a controversial extradition Bill urged world leaders on 26th June to help “liberate” Hong Kong and take their plight up with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the upcoming Group of 20 summits in Japan. Wearing T-shirts and carrying placards saying “Liberate Hong Kong” and “Free Hong Kong from China Colonisation”, groups of protesters marched to the US, EU and several other consulates in Hong Kong to deliver petitions

· Europe wilts as soaring temperatures set to last until weekend.

Continental Europe wilted on 26th June as mid-30s Saharan heat emptied cities and melted motorway asphalt. Warsaw, Rome and Munich all registered 33 degrees while Zürich, Berlin and Vienna were one degree warmer. In Paris, official temperatures clocked 33 degrees but meteorologists said a “heat sink” effect, where concrete absorbs the heat, made it feel in the mid-40s. France is braced for record-breaking temperatures in the south, and two people have died in Spain, as Europe continues to face a sweltering heat wave. Four departments in southern France were placed on emergency red alert on Friday, the first time the measure has covered such a large area. Temperatures could exceed 45 Celsius in inland parts of Vaucluse, Gard, Herault and Bouches-du-Rhône, breaking the mainland France record of 44.1 Celsius set in the southern region of Montpellier and Nîmes in August 2003.

· Brazilian court rejects latest attempt to free former President Lula from jail

The latest effort to free former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from jail failed on Tuesday night when Brazil’s supreme court voted against his immediate release.

As expected, the court postponed considering a petition filed by Lula’s lawyers to remove the judge who convicted him of corruption from the case and grant him habaes corpus. But a five-member panel held a vote on whether to release the former union 

· Johnson eyes public spending spree with Javid as chancellor,

Boris Johnson is planning to open the spending taps if he becomes UK prime minister, with Sajid Javid emerging as his favoured choice to become chancellor and oversee the expansionary new policy. Mr. Javid, home secretary, has described as “fantastic” Mr Johnson’s plan to create a £100 billion infrastructure fund over the next five years and has previously called for £50 billion of extra borrowing to pay for,

· Protest at US detention centre: ‘It’s beyond belief that this is our country’

Under the baking Florida sun, a small crowd has gathered patiently, hoping to catch a glimpse of the children behind the fence.

“This is our 136th day here,” says Charlie Fomby, a local resident who is protesting at conditions at the camp. Many have brought red heart signs which they hold up as they wave, hoping to catch the attention of the children 

· Ordinary Iranians pay a heavy price as tensions soar in Gulf

The latest round of US sanctions on senior Iranian figures could finish off the remote possibility of talks between Tehran and Washington. Experts argue the ill-prepared and poorly conceived measures adopted after Iran shot down a US spy drone off the Iranian coast have inflamed tensions without punishing those responsible or forcing Iran to alter regional policies.

·  Denmark’s Social Democrats to form minority government.

Mette Frederiksen is to become Denmark’s youngest prime minister after her Social Democratic party agreed to soften its anti-immigration stance and form a minority government with the backing of three other left-leaning parties. Ms Frederiksen (41) led her party to victory in a general election on June 5th after adopting a tougher approach on immigration. But under the deal struck late on Tuesday after three weeks of talks with the Socialist People’s party, the Red Green Unity List and the centrist Social Liberals, she has agreed to reverse some of the strict immigration 

· ‘Don’t meddle in the election, please’ – Trump jokes with Putin at G20

US president Donald Trump has reignited the controversy over claims that Russia helped put him in power by appearing to make a joke of it with the country’s leader, Vladimir Putin.In a photo op before the two men met for discussions at the G20 summit in Osaka, Mr Trump smirked and wagged his finger at Mr Putin, saying “Don’t meddle in the election, please.

Economy-

GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 28th and 29th June 2019

As compared to 21st and 22nd June 2019

Global indices as of 28th and 29th June 2019
Name Current Value Open

Close

US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (Jun 28) 8,006.24 7988.76

7967.76

EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (Jun 28) 7,425.63 7402.33

7402.33

 CAC (Jun 28) 5,538.97 5491.17

5493.61

 DAX (Jun 28) 12,398.80 12302.77

12271.03

ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (Jun 29) 11,854.50 11841.50

11838.00

 NIKKEI 225 (Jun 28) 21,275.92 21282.22

21338.17

 STRAITS TIMES (Jun 28) 3,321.61 3336.08

3328.60

 HANG SENG (Jun 28) 28,542.62 28632.59

28621.42

 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Jun 28) 10,730.83 10786.66

10773.90

 KOSPI (Jun 28) 2,130.62 2135.06

2134.32

 SET COMPOSITE (Jun 28) 1,730.34 1731.89

1731.64

 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Jun 28) 6,358.63 6367.02

6352.71

 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Jun 28) 2,978.88 2992.24

2996.79

 

Global indices as of 21st and 22nd June 2019
Name Current Value Open

Close

US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (Jun 21) 8,031.71 8028.69

8051.34

EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (Jun 21) 7,407.50 7424.44

7424.44

 CAC (Jun 21) 5,528.33 5534.43

5535.57

 DAX (Jun 21) 12,339.92 12351.98

12355.39

ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (Jun 22) 11,757.00 11771.00

11754.00

 NIKKEI 225 (Jun 21) 21,258.64 21487.67

21462.86

 STRAITS TIMES (Jun 21) 3,321.40 3314.28

3314.51

 HANG SENG (Jun 21) 28,473.71 28581.51

28550.43

 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Jun 21) 10,803.77 10817.71

10785.01

 KOSPI (Jun 21) 2,125.62 2132.38

2131.29

 SET COMPOSITE (Jun 21) 1,717.14 1722.60

1717.82

 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Jun 21) 6,315.44 6343.48

6335.70

 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Jun 21) 3,001.98 2990.37

2987.12

 

Pakistan

Politics

· Opposition leaders reach consensus on removal of Senate chairman ‘through lawful means’

Members of the PPP, PML-N, JUI-F, Awami National Party, and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, among others, had attended the MPC held at a hotel in Islamabad to discuss the possibilities of launching an anti-government protest from a single, united platform. JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, addressing a press conference after the 8-hour-long meeting, read out an official statement on the decisions agreed upon by all attendees.

  1. The MPC has decided to replace Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani through lawful and Constitutional means.
  2. rehbarcommittee ─ to be set up to ensure action on the points agreed upon in today’s meeting ─ will also provide recommendations for possible replacements for Sanjrani, the statement said.
  3. Additionally, the opposition parties decided to observe July 25, the date of the General Election last year, as a ‘black day’ due to alleged rigging in the polls. They also demanded the immediate resignation of the parliamentary committee formed to probe rigging in the election.
  4. The participants of the meeting decided that all political parties with ties to the opposition should launch a protest against the budget, which they described as “enemy of the people, businessmen, investors, health, education, and farmers”.
  5. A mass contact campaign will be launched to apprise citizens of the government’s “anti-people” agenda in order to provide relief to the masses, it was decided.
  6. The MPC demanded that production orders be issued for arrested Waziristan MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, and called for the formation of a parliamentary committee on Waziristan so that “all facts are before the nation”.
  7. Additionally, the opposition party members also demanded the formation of a new accountability law under which all people are tried under a single law by a single institution.
  8. With respect to Commission of Inquiryannounced by the prime minister recently, the opposition demanded that no institutions should interfere with politics, and called for a parliamentary committee comprising an equal number of government and opposition members to probe all grants and debts acquired by the country from the year 2000 onwards.
  9. The opposition also called for the return of missing persons who are in the custody of security forces and have not been presented in courts, and demanded that they be presented in courts. They also called for legislation against torture of prisoners, and for detention centers in the tribal areas to be converted into regular jails, where open courts are held to resolve cases against the prisoners.
  10. The MPC demanded the immediate removal of unannounced restrictions and censorship of the media, and for ensuring the protection of journalists. They emphasized the need for immediate legislation in this regard.
  • The capital administration has removed the khateeb of Lal Masjid and imposed a three-month ban on the entry of former khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz in the mosque.

The decision was taken after a meeting between Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat and Ulema, including Mufti Raees Ayubi from Azad Kashmir and Qazi Nisar from Gilgit-Baltistan.

Former administration of Jamia Hafsa, including Maulana Abdul Aziz’s wife Umme Hassam, along with 80 students came to Lal Masjid after a plot allotted to the seminary was cancelled. Jamia Hafsa students currently living on mosque premises allowed to continue educational activities for three months They started living in eight rooms on the premises of the mosque adjacent to the weekly bazaar and commenced educational activities, said officials. The DC requested the Ulema at the meeting held on Monday to play their role in getting the rooms vacated. The Ulema played the role of mediators between the capital administration and the former administration of the mosque. It was decided that teachers and students of Jamia Hafsa would continue their educational activities in Lal Masjid for three months. During this period, the capital administration would resolve the issue of the cancellation of a plot allotted to Jamia Hafsa so that they could be shifted there.

Economy

 

  • The National Assembly accorded formal approval to the federal budget for fiscal 2019-20 late 28th June evening, with the coalition and its allies comfortably defeating the combined opposition’s bid to block the passage of the Finance Bill 2019-20.

The total outlay of the budget is Rs7.022 trillion, focusing on fiscal consolidation, revenue mobilization, austerity measures and protection to the vulnerable segments of society. The treasury benches rejected almost all the amendments to the finance bill moved by the opposition members after there was a discussion on them by both sides, whereas amendments moved by Minister for Finance and Revenue Hammad Azhar were adopted by the house.

Meanwhile Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on 28th June also blamed “fiscal mismanagement” for the country’s economic woes, days after he was appointed to a newly formed committee responsible for steering the economy. The comments come days before the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is due to decide whether to approve a $6 billion bailout for the country, which is trying to avoid a balance of payments crisis. Prime Minister Imran Khan has blamed previous governments for the country’s economic problems.

                                   

F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of 29th June 2019 as compared to 22nd June 2019
Countries PKR rate as of 22nd  June 2019 PKR rate as of 29th June 2019
U.S.A. 157.40 161.0
U.K. 200.00 203.00
Euro 177.25 183.0
Japan 1.46 1.45
Saudi Arabia 41.55 41.70
U.A.E. 42.55 42.70

 

Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices

As of 28th June 2019 As Compared

To 21st June 2019

 

Position as of 28th June 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 185 (curr) Current 33901.58 Current 16064.88
Decline (High) 111 High 33936.23 High 16064.88
Unchanged (Low) 26 Low 33409.50 Low 15787.62
Total change 322  127.15  118.20
Position as of 21st June 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 119

(curr)

Current 35125.25 Current 16550.97
Decline(High) 160 High 35207.59 High 16573.37
Unchanged (Low) 23 Low 34995.91 Low 16459.74
Total Change 302  129.34  91.23

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